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on 5 May 2013
I always buy on the basis of good reviews and at the time of purchasing this, there wasn't one. So I gambled and it looks to have paid off. I previously had an LED tv which really annoyed me as it couldn't cope with dark scenes so I've gone and bought a plasma.The reason I'm writing this review is because I felt cheated on my previous purchase and believe manufacturers should not produce products that simply aren't good enough. This tv is 2013 model,great value for money, looks great, has a good range of picture options and the sound is good enough not to have to buy a home cinema system. Hope this helps.
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on 29 July 2013
I bought this to replace an old Panasonic Viera 42" plasma which I'd had for many years. My only criteria was that it didn't need to be a Smart TV or a 3D TV, since I have my PC hooked up to my TV so a Smart TV would offer nothing new, and I wasn't interested in 3D in the slightest. Incredibly, there are very few manufacturers who now make Plasmas, and fewer which are neither Smart TVs or 3D. When I found this one for under £500, I thought there must be a catch, but there are honestly very few alternatives, and I would have been prepared to pay much more for a similarly specced TV.

First off, there are reviews on here about plasma TVs causing issues with things like wireless networks and radio signals, and I'm glad to say I've so far had no such issues, even with a wireless router and an IR extender located directly below the TV. The research I had done on this issue beforehand persuaded me that these issues are not related to particular models or even manufacturers. I found forums where people blamed everyone from Samsung, to Panasonic, to Sony to LG for causing these issues. So it seems to me that it's a fluke problem that people experience either due to the specific hardware they have in their house, or because of an issue with the specific unit they receive.

The TV itself is very nice looking, and it was the 'razor' thin edge that made this TV appeal to me more than those available from Panasonic, as I didn't want the TV to take up much more wall-space than my 42" plasma. As it is, it's only 2 cm taller than the 42", and about 12 cm wider. A lot has been said about the reflective screen, but it's no more reflective than old flat-screen CRTs were, so as long as the screen is not opposite a window or a wall light (that is switched on) then you're fine. And lets face it, if you've been placing your TV opposite a window all these years then you've clearly been doing something wrong. If LCD TVs have a less reflective screen, well good on them, but it's not a convincing reason to buy one instead of a plasma.

Ok, here's the real bone of contention; the picture. There are lots of reviews on here saying how great the picture is, especially the 1080p resolution, and this is certainly true. No HD channels are in 1080p yet, but they still look great in terms of resolution. Films and games (from my PC) in full 1080p look superb. But there's one problem, and this problem will only affect you depending on what your previous TV was, and on what you watch. It's called Auto Brightness Limiter (ABL). I'm not even sure if that's its 'official' name, because you won't find a single Plasma manufacturer that admits to its existence, but it's what most people on dedicated AVI forums will call it. In the US, it's also referred to as the 'ice hockey effect', as it's quite apparent to those who watch a lot of ice hockey. You won't find it in the instructions, or in the troubleshooting sections of their websites or in any technical information given about the TV's features and specifications. It's a function hard-coded into all modern-built Plasmas, which will reduce the overall brightness of the screen depending on how much white there is. In other words, it will maintain a consistent brightness level to reduce the amount of energy used. There are a number of theories as to why this feature has been introduced, one being that it is a legal requirement in order to keep the energy output below a certain level to conform to energy efficiency levels imposed in most countries. Another theory is that is increases the life of the TV and reduces screen-burn. Now, the interesting thing is that my old Panasonic obviously did not have this feature, and its lasted about 7 or 8 years, and has no screen burn, plus, in general, hardware manufacturers care very little about their products lasting beyond there standard warranty, so I find the latter explanation difficult to believe. The legal requirement is a little more convincing, since I very much doubt that TV manufacturers care about how much energy their consumers are using, so they're not imposing this feature out of the economic kindness of their hearts. However, you will not find any official confirmation that such guidelines exist or that TV manufacturers are required to adhere to them (at least I couldn't find anything, but if you do, please post it in the comments to this review!). It's more likely, perhaps, that in order to appeal to consumers who make comparisons based on the energy efficiency of a TV manufacturers had make this feature mandatory in order to qualify for a low energy efficiency rating. I imagine that if the feature was optional (and there was a rumour a couple of years ago that Samsung were going to release a firmware update that made the feature optional; the update never materialised) then they wouldn't be able to qualify for the lower, more competitive, rating. But that's a guess.

To test the theory that TV manufacturers are deliberately not mentioning the ABL feature, I contacted LG customer support and mentioned that my picture seemed to dim whenever there was a lot of white on the screen. By this point I had already done my research, and discovered the alleged cause, but I just wanted to hear it from the horse's mouth. The customer service rep took me through the usual rigmarole of resetting all the settings and even doing a factory reset. After a couple of days, and with apparently no resolution to my "problem", I received a phone call from the (very friendly and helpful) customer service rep to inform me that apparently their 'technician' informed them that there is a feature built in to the TV which automatically adjusts the brightness depending on the amount of white there is on the screen. They could not offer a reason for the feature, other than to keep energy levels down, nor a reason why it wasn't mentioned in their troubleshooting guides. I suggested they include it.

If you're already aware of this 'feature', or have previously owned a plasma TV that has it, then you probably don't mind that it also exists in this particular model. If, like me, you've come from having a plasma without ABL, then you probably will notice it at some point, especially if you watch a lot of ice hockey (I don't). The reason I noticed it was mainly because windows on my PC are mostly white, and when you open a window which fills the screen, the effect is like turning the brightness down about 50%. Fortunately, other than a game called "Antichamber", most games don't tend to have a lot of white in them, neither do most TV programmes or films.

The disadvantage of buying a plasma TV over an LCD used to be it's high energy output compared to LCDs, but now there is another one. For me, the image quality of a plasma, and in particular how they cope with moving images, is far and away superior to LCDs. The ABL 'feature' infuriated me when I first discovered it, especially as I felt robbed of my ability to switch it off, but now that I know it's in all Plasmas, and I've grown a bit more used to it, it's not so much of an issue as I thought it would be. I'll probably even start to appreciate it when I get my next electricity bill (by the way, I make no mention of "LED TVs" because they don't exist. What manufacturers call LED TVs are really just LCDs. If you don't believe me, look it up). But this isn't a Plasma vs LCD debate, it's a review, and I'm sure you've already researched the differences.

So, until OLED TVs arrive (no sign of them yet), there is no perfect option in TVs, at least, not anymore. Unless you want to you find yourself an old, pre-ABL, plasma (wanna buy a 42" Panasonic Viera?) then this TV is the best value, full-HD, plasma that'll you'll find. And there aren't many left. The only reason this doesn't get 5 stars is because of LGs complete lack of information or support regarding ABL, which may seem unfair since they're just doing what everyone else is, but giving it 5 stars just doesn't feel right.
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on 31 October 2013
I purchased the product because there were far more positive reviews and negative and £499 for a 50" plasma was a bargain. Everything about the set in terms of picture and sound is perfect. Every image is crystal clear with the deep blacks only plasma offers and for built in speakers the output is very hight quality.

Now for the major flaw. This plasma, as other reviewers have mentioned, is an interference menace. It gives off so much interference in my apartment that it completely wipes out my broadband. We're talking an average of 20mb down normal speed dropping to at best 1mb down if it even works. Now one thing I need to point out is that I've not even got my set connected to the network, simply having the panel on causes the interference. Another thing which shocked me is that it even took out my wired connections. Moving the router around 10ft away also made little impact. After a bit of research it seems as though it is coming from the power supply. While considering a return i found that LG must know about this issue as there were some ferrite cores included with the set and the manual actually recommends them. After installing them onto the power cord I seem to be getting back some wifi abilities (it still knocks it down to about 8mb but to be honest for me that's manageable).

Ultimately I decided to keep the set because I just don't think I could go back to a standard LCD after seeing this sort of quality but I do think that tech companies really need to research into reducing the amount of noise these products emit! God knows what else it actually affects!

Hope this helps others!
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on 5 May 2013
this is my first plasma tv and I love it! recommend going full HD it just looks fantastic. 50 inch is massive, too
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I really can't say very much more than what has been said here other than give my own take on buying this and my subsequent experiences.
Gladly we were lucky having no Radio interference problems with the usual things people have near screens once the ferrite cores were used
*Edit - 2 years,and a few months on and still working ,darker text on higher whites are a little washed out now,you wouldn't want to use this as a pc monitor for reading- but it's still functional as a TV.
Budget 4K screens are here at reasonable prices. Integral HD is still very good on this model for the financial outlay.
Screenwash has to be run more often now,orbiter isn't enough - but this set has been very well used - this helps it clear any image retention (usually strong colours) in some small areas of the display. About the right time to think about changing, for us. occasional flicker in some sections perhaps pointing towards a PSU issue to come.
After having it this long I can say I will be looking forwards to having a TV that doesn't emit as much heat when we get our next model.
Glad we waited for prices to stabilise/converge. Do not regret waiting,or not getting the brightest of screens.
Not sure I would go for one at OLED prices yet but it's now time for a new telly, but I'd keep it simple - best picture v price, without gimmicks.LED backlit sets have got a lot better with more equal proportioned uniform backlighting levels, and sharper text display without looking like they need gamma correction after setup.
Because plasma screens do emit light that can overlap (at very low levels) in the infra-red spectrum,the remote is quite directional.

What you get for your money here is a 50 inch full HD plasma that may not be the most energy efficient, but it is not exactly drawing silly current- it still has a 3 amp fuse after all,and drawing under 150 Watts.

If you factor in initial cost and power consumption over a year,it would be more expensive to buy the most energy efficient large screen models at the moment,even when adding up the small savings in electricity over a few years.
This tv does have several eco settings,these considerably reduce the screens brightness,possibly ok for use at night,I'm not really a fan of the lowest setting myself.

Without any Eco setting on, this TV will use one unit(KWH)of electricity for every 8 hours it is on which is charged in the UK at between 14-21 p depending on your tariff.
It can be set to turn off after a pre-set number of hours that you choose,8 hours being the maximum.

It's also worth noting that in order to make some plasma screens meet A star energy ratings, some retailers will sell you a large 720p plasma unless you ask a lot of questions in store.
These screens can look pretty dire especially when particularly large.

1080p Freeview HD is integral and included,this is more than enough for most and because the majority of consoles,add on boxes and bluray players you could connect to this TV have the on-line aspects of a smart tv, you would eventually thank yourself for not spending more than 300-500 extra for a glorified budget tablet processor with the lacklustre menus sadly still found on some very expensive large "smart" Tv's.

And yes Black is pretty much black on this unit and You can hear it very well using its own speakers.

This unit does have its peak white level limited on every profile. This is likely to prolong its panel life and prevent burn in,perhaps this also keeps current consumption lower too.I mean you could try a pc input using a browser or text input window which is mostly white and a quarter of the screen size.I used a light meter and measure 261 Lux.
You'll see things as white as they probably should look.
Maximise that window to fill the full screen and that white level can be cut down to less than half brightness.The light meter shows 93 Lux.
This cannot be bypassed on any setting,it has nothing to do with dynamic contrast settings or PC GPU settings.
After having mentioned this white variance, I noticed some extremely bright LCD backlit Pc monitors I've had over the years look great initially but do cause me really bad eye-strain and headaches if a lot of time is spent staring at black text on white backgrounds so this may be about health as well- I noticed the LG unit has "EYECARE" in the menu blanked out - could this feature be on permanently?

Using it as a games console screen poses no problems with the input set to pc and as a TV it really looks good in the evening or anytime when away from any major reflecting light sources.
The new Playstation 4 looks fantastic on this screen.

Built in Europe with actual metal on the back it's a good choice for people who want a surprisingly large quality Freeview Hd image without lots of hyped up add ons that make little difference in the real world outside the TV showroom.

In the next few years as large 4K screens start emerging I do not think the glut of remaining large 1080p definition TV screens can remain at previous high prices.
And considering a lot of models seem to me to be almost virtually the same overpriced led backlit lcd panel with a pretty/space age stand for a few hundred extra I think people are *AT LAST* getting wise to it.

It's truly not worth spending a thousand or more on a TV that will be out of date in a year or so,unless you like doing that for personal reasons.
But it is worth spending less than £500!

I expect there will be plasmas that have a higher white output level at a higher cost, but this set is honestly fine for everyday use in any large living Room As Is.
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on 18 May 2013
Lovely looking tv very slim line,looks great on the wall,easy to work,great picture really good value for £ this is our 2nd LG tv really like it
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on 19 November 2013
I don't need 3D or smart TV just PS3/blu-ray, tablet and USB connectivity. Plasma picture quality still beats any TFT/LED in the same price bracket with deep contrast and rich colors that shine with especially with blu-ray. It's also more forgiving with lower quality sources if you turn the sharpness down which is more I can say for some LCD's that have that horrible frame rate upscaler to hide their shortcomings. The picture options are more extensive that any other set I've owned and there are several presets so you can fine tune it for games, DVD, TV blu-ray ect. It also plays most media files via the USB slot at the back with a very nice user interface.
Plasmas have come a long way since the old days with a smart screensaving function that dimms the screen when stationary images have been on for too long to avoid burn. Sometimes you get a little ghosting but it's gone in seconds as soon as something bright washes over the screen.
Downsides are that there is a slight input lag on some presets so if your running your audio straight from a blu-ray player or PS3 you will see slight lip sync issues however when running the audio straight from the TV itself everything is fine but sadly as there is no dedicated audio or headphone output so buying an inexpensive optical DAC or connection to another optical sound device is a must.
Gamers should be aware that there is still a very tiny (I mean really tiny)lag even in game mode but this hasn't spoiled my gaming experience with the games I pay and is only just noticeable with lip syncing when watching blu-rays in game mode like I've mentioned above.
Picture wise I think there's not much in it when you get to plasmas of this size and price bracket from other brands like Sony or Panasonic (RIP) other than a marginally higher contrast and whiter whites for a lot more money. This set is good enough to see the imperfections in badly mastered blu-rays and for the money its a no brainer next to a bells and whistles LCD set which I've still yet to see come close under £800.
I also think it seems like they are trying to phase out plasmas but I suspect this is down to higher manufacturing cost and weight (this thing weighs a ton) so grab one while you still can. All in all well worth the extra £150ish next to your average 42 inch LCD.
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on 7 June 2013
I have had this tv for just one day now, and although the one it replaced had a very good picture, this one is better, given that the screen size is also much bigger. Setting up was easy enough,simply a doddle. The only gripe I have is that the instruction manual is very basic, and does not cover all the fine tuning available on the set, and the LG web site doesn't offer any further information. Also the screen is reflective, and if you have it in a sunny aspect room, you will need to close the curtains. But apart from that, if you are looking for a really excellent picture and superbly clear sound, (brilliant for my hearing problems), and you are not interested in 3d, then I would certainly recommend this set. I bought a 3 year extended guarantee with it for peace of mind. All in all, great value for an impressive television.
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on 23 June 2013
This TV was bought to replace a 42in LG Plasma television.
So we pretty much knew what we were getting - same thing but larger screen and we were quite happy with the previous set.
Not only has the new one a sharper picture, the sound is better and as the frame is so thin, it only takes up a bit more room than the old one.
Mrs Farrant was worried that it would be too big but she has had to admit that it is some improvement!
As with all Plasma screens there is a slight problem in daylight with reflection from windows and other light sources but there are simple ways around this.
If you don't want 3D or a Smart TV (How do you use the computer at the same time as someone watching rugby or cricket anyway?) then go for this one - fantastic value!
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on 16 June 2013
Firstly, this is an incredible value for money television.

We bought it for two reasons, firstly because we watch a lot of action and thriller-esque movies so the rich black of plasma technology did not disappoint, once calibrated properly of course and secondly because it is full HD 1080p, and when you watch a true full hd video, it is incredible.

It's cheap for the size and features too.

The only downside, as with all lower cost plasmas is the reflections with direct light on the screen, which makes watching dark scenes very difficult, however draw the curtains (We are going to get some good blackout curtains) and it improves dramatically.

Hope this helps any potential buyers.
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